Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9


Chapter 22—A Call for Colored Laborers

Most decided efforts should be made to educate and train colored men and women to labor as missionaries in the Southern States of America. Christian colored students should be preparing to give the truth to their own race. Those who make the fear of the Lord the beginning of their wisdom and give heed to the counsel of men of experience can be a great blessing to the Negro race by carrying to their own people the light of present truth. Every worker laboring in humility and in harmony with his brethren will be a channel of light to many who are now in the darkness of ignorance and superstition. 9T 199.1

Instead of wondering whether they are not fitted to labor for white people, let our colored brethren and sisters devote themselves to missionary work among the colored people. There is an abundance of room for intelligent colored men and women to labor for their own people. Much work remains to be done in the Southern field. Special efforts are to be made in the large cities. In each of these cities there are thousands of colored people, to whom the last warning message of mercy must be given. Let the missionary spirit be awakened in the hearts of our colored church members. Let earnest work be done for those who know not the truth. 9T 199.2

To every colored brother and sister I would say: Look at the situation as it is. Ask yourself: “In view of the opportunities and advantages granted me, how much do I owe to my Lord? How can I best glorify Him and promote the interests of my people? How can I use to the best advantage the knowledge God has been pleased to give me? Should I not open my Bible and teach the truth to my people? Are there not thousands perishing for lack of knowledge, whom I can help if I submit myself to God so that He can use me as His instrument? Have I not a work to do for my oppressed, discouraged fellows?” 9T 200.1

The Southern field is suffering for workers. Will you pass by your people, making no effort to help them, or will you with a humble heart work to save the perishing? There is a work you can do if you will humble yourself before God. Trusting in Him, you will find peace and comfort, but following your own way and your own will, you will find thorns and thistles, and you will lose the reward. 9T 200.2

Time is short, and what you do must be done quickly. Resolve to redeem the time. Seek not your own pleasure. Rouse yourself! Take hold of the work with a new purpose of heart. The Lord will open the way before you. Make every possible effort to work in Christ's lines, in meekness and lowliness, relying upon Him for strength. Understand the work the Lord gives you to do, and, trusting in God, you will be enabled to go on from strength to strength, from grace to grace. You will be enabled to work diligently, perseveringly, for your people while the day lasts; for the night cometh in which no man shall work. 9T 200.3

There is the greatest need for all kinds of missionary work in the South. Without delay, workers must be prepared for this field. Our people should provide a fund for the education of men and women in the Southern States who, being accustomed to the climate, can work there without endangering their health. 9T 200.4

Promising young men and young women should be educated to become teachers. They should have the very best advantages. Schoolhouses and meetinghouses should be built in different places, and teachers employed. 9T 201.1

Those who for years have been working to help the colored people are well fitted to give counsel in regard to the opening of such schools. So far as possible these schools should be established outside the cities. But in the cities there are many children who could not attend schools away from the cities; and for the benefit of these, schools should be opened in the cities as well as in the country. 9T 201.2

The children and youth in these schools are to be taught something more than merely how to read. Industrial lines of work are to be carried forward. The students are to be provided with facilities for learning trades that will enable them to support themselves. 9T 201.3

Our churches in the North, as well as in the South, should do what they can to help support the school work for the colored children. The schools already established should be faithfully maintained. The establishment of new schools will require additional funds. Let all our brethren and sisters do their part wholeheartedly to place these schools on vantage ground. 9T 201.4

In addition to engaging in this line of school work, our colored brethren may do a good work by establishing mission Sunday schools and Sabbath schools among their own people—schools in which the youth may be taught by teachers whose hearts are filled with love for souls. 9T 201.5

Opportunities are continually presenting themselves in the Southern States, and many wise, Christian colored men will be called to the work. But for several reasons white men must be chosen as leaders. We are all members of one body and are complete only in Christ Jesus, who will uplift His people from the low level to which sin has degraded them and will place them where they shall be acknowledged in the heavenly courts as laborers together with God. 9T 202.1

There is work to be done in many hard places, and out of these hard places bright laborers are to come. Let the work be managed so that colored laborers will be educated to work for their own race. Among the Negro race there are many who have talent and ability. Let us search out these men and women, and teach them how to engage in the work of saving souls. God will co-operate with them and give them the victory. 9T 202.2